Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Nurofen pain

The Nurofen scandal seems brought upon themselves. It's quite outrageous using the same painkiller application - and not just in different packaging and prices - but supposedly for different uses such as migraines or period pains. What were they thinking? They may as well have claimed added water? Pharma companies have to be especially careful of not just their brand but how the product is actually used. Brand magic - customers prefer branded Nurofen to the same unbranded commodity painkiller - seems to have been stretched beyond credibility to mere brand pixie dust. It raises another interesting point with the kick-off of the SDG Sustainable Development Goals in January 2016 for completion before 2030. One of the goals is delivering sustainable consumption - to some extent that's fairly easy now with recycled packaging or solar energy becoming far more mainstream. The days of capitalism in effect being subsidised by the environment are over. But without advocating some sort of Stalinist central planning control how far can advertisers - and retailers - deliver the same or very similar products and brands and claim sustainability? Do we really need - and can the planet cope with - 20 different washing powders or 20 different dog food brands for 7BN people? Is it ultimately irrelevant anyway in the next few years if recycling and zero emission delivery trucks remove the Climate factor from consumption? Certainly with the EU spending as much on the various dog food brands as it does on Third World aid there are also questions around both sustainability and prioritisation of resources. But certainly Nurofen as with VW and the emissions scandals (the later losing 20% of share value already) will certainly face consumer and industry backlash over their ethics in prioritizing their customers. Sincerely yours,

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